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the hyphens that define my life

Pay Attention July 27, 2013

Filed under: Life — multihyphenatedme @ 1:50 pm
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Today was Trace’s first soccer game with his new team, FC Spokane B00 White, in the River City Cup Tournament.  A massive two day tournament of 220 teams from multiple states and Canadian provinces, 1700 kids.  We didn’t know what to expect from the team or the tournament.  We didn’t know what position he would play, how his coach would coach in a game, or how much playing time Trace would be given. I’m confident in our son’s abilities, yet I was anxious on how everything would come together.

After the game, as Trace and I drove home, I said “You had a great first play of your game”.  The play was a pass assist that scored a goal.  Trace said, “Yeah, in the second half”.  “Yes,” I said, “your first play of the game”.  We bantered back and forth a bit until I realized my error.

Here’s what happened…from my perspective.

Trace didn’t start, which is fine, he needed to see how the team played.  You see, at practice, we train with a U-14 team that our coach also coaches.  At least 25 7th and 8th graders are on the field at every practice.  Knowing who has been on our team, let alone the positions they play have been a mystery.  Team-building events haven’t yet been scheduled.  Trace, with time, has adjusted.  Yet, with all of this, I agreed with the coach to not start Trace.  No issue.

The first half continued, and from what I could tell, Trace sat on the bench the entire first half. You have to understand that I have terrible vision.  I was sitting on one side of the field, and the team bench is on the other side.  Typically my kid has some discernable feature, his floppy blond hair, his crazy colored cleats, or his jersey number, to help me see him on the field.  He got a haircut so his blond tresses are gone and at least 3 other kids on his team have matching cleats.  Because he was sitting facing the field, I couldn’t see his jersey number on his back.

Not knowing any of the parents on the sidelines, I didn’t say anything.  I kept it all contained.  You read that correctly.  I didn’t say one word out loud the entire first half.  For those of you who have heard me at a soccer game, you know the impossibility of this miracle.  Vince, who stayed home with the sleeping brothers, received a bunch of text messages like “WTH? He’s still on the bench?!”  At first Vince fed my frustration but then came to his senses and told me to trust the coach.  Sheesh.  I was hot.

Trace started the second half and played all but a quick water break.  He was playing left forward, so he was right in front of me.  I could see him fine.  All was well in the world, I met some of the other families, the team won 5-1 and everyone was happy.

In the car on the way home, after I relayed this story to Trace, he just looked at me and shook his head.  “Mom, I was the first sub and other than water breaks, I played the whole game”.  He told me that I didn’t miss anything in the first half, he was nervous and had a few weenie kicks but he loves playing left-mid.

“What?  I thought you were playing forward?”  “Really Mom? We play a 4-4-2 line up, I played left midfield the whole game.”  “Oh.”

I seriously have to pay attention.  You would have thought it was my first game. Oh wait, it was my first game…with FC Spokane.

[how I’m going to explain my incopetency the rest of the season is….to be continued…]

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The Calm After the Storm June 25, 2013

Today was the rainbow day as the result of yesterday’s storm.  Only it rained today too. In spite of and in the midst of the rain, we unloaded a third of our boxes off the trailer that arrived via Amtrak last night. Progress!  Still a lot of unpacking and “where are we going to put this?”, cleaning and working toward getting our lives back in order.

The United States Postal Service is functioning well and forwarding our mail as pre-arranged. Tuesday is trash pick up day, a big life adjustment from our previous Thursday pick up.

Trace is feeling much better and enjoyed his first practice with FC Spokane.  Meeting the coach and putting a face with the voice, emails and texts for the first time was great.  Trace met a couple of kids that he will attend middle school with so things are looking up for him tremendously from yesterday.  He managed to get invited to a birthday party tomorrow where he’ll meet more middle school kids.  Thank you kind soccer mom for the invite and for understanding the pressures 12-year-olds face with a big move.

Andre met some kids at the school playground who are playing in Hoopfest this weekend.  Andre is more basketball obsessed than usual.  He wants to join a league and start planning his own 3-man for next year. Yes!

Niko is mellow as usual.  Just cruising wherever life takes him, checking the sights, jumping around like a loon.  All is well.

Vince played nice and work went smoothly.

Tonight we decided to see if Spokane could offer up good Mexican food.  Thanks to a little Yelp help, we found Hacienda Las Flores. Don’t let the exterior fool you, this dive offered fantastic meals that rivaled some of the best Mexican food we’ve ever had in Southern California.  Check that box, we have found a go-to Mexican restaurant!  Woo! Could there be others?

The icing on my cupcake of a day was when I received a compliment on an old outfit I wore today.  I’ll quote my friend Lita who said when she started a new job “my old clothes are new to them”!

Kid happiness is mom happiness.  What a difference a day makes.  Today was the calm after yesterday’s storm. Perhaps we just treaded more softly around each other, helping without complaining, or just being aware of each other’s needs.

I didn’t get the Summer Fun schedule planned today but we all contributed some great ideas.

With a little time and patience things come together nicely. Good thing.  These blow-by-blow accounts of my days is not why I’m writing these blog posts.  Trust that this move will sometime end (sooner than later I hope) so the writing, the stories, and adventures will improve.

Thanks for subscribing, following and reading.  I really appreciate your support…and tolerance.

 

Through Our Children’s Eyes June 24, 2013

This summer is no fun, at least through our children’s eyes.

First,  we rip them away from everything and everyone they know.  We force them to participate in the arduous task of moving.  We strap them in the car for 20+ hours, sitting next to each other, looking at each other, torturing each other, and, yes, torturing us. As soon as we arrive, we spend the entire weekend working to unload the trailer, clean the house and garage and begin getting settled. Their only hope for fun was for internet hookup on Monday to distract their misery with Minecraft.

Trace was looking forward to his first day at soccer academy today with FC Spokane, his new soccer team.  With the preceding week filled with so much hard work, hotel germs, poor diet and emotional damage, he started playing strong and lasted about 45 minutes before his stomach gave way and he got sick. He was really impressed with the Indoor Soccer Center and trainer and hopes he’s well enough for regular practice tomorrow on the field and academy again on Wednesday.  A rough start with his new team.

Niko and Andre are bored senseless.  They are not inspired or motivated to play in the rain.  They haven’t seen one kid in the neighborhood that isn’t a baby (the memory of playing soccer with some kids on Saturday is completely erased from their minds).  Andre said and I quote, “there is probably no chance I’ll ever make any friends here”.

Today, Vince and I  had to work as we would any Monday.   This was our first “real” Monday of summer.  The kids are bored and whiney and we’re losing our minds.  Yeah, summer! Ugh.  Vince and I are also temporarily sharing an office for about a week until he’s finished modifying his space to his grandiose specifications.  Read this correctly, I’m low maintenance, he is high maintenance.  We survived Monday.

Tonight at dinner, along with a great meal of homemade chicken and rice stew to heal the ailing and provide comfort in rainy weather, I served french bread and strawberry jam.  Trace sighed, “oh, it’s not homemade bread”.  Niko looked at the jam and said, “it’s not homemade strawberry jam either”.  I nearly fell off my chair. Did they not see me busting my butt all weekend?  Did they not see me working all day today? Do they not realize I have a skillet, a pot and a grand total of three cooking utensils?  I held it together while Vince calmly reminded them that we are still in transition mode.  We’re still getting settled, he told them, while he looked at me to concur that store bought bread and jam are temporary.  Spoiled brats every one of them and I’m outnumbered.  I’m convinced they only keep me around so they are well fed.

Well fed they are and will be.  Fun will be had. Where Vince and I have already found Spokane to be great with every experience, Spokane has nothing to offer the kids, at least through their eyes and gathered from their comments. Woe is them.

Patience and planning is all that’s needed.  I only planned up to the move.  Now the kids are staring at us for entertainment and I’ve got nothing to offer.   What was I thinking? The kids lack of patience definitely comes from me.  I, too, want my oompah loompah now.  Tomorrow we are planning our Summer Fun schedule.   Our family day camp will be open for business and fully operational soon.  Advertures await!

Correction:  Reading the Inlander, Spokane’s weekly rag, today, I realized I made a mistake in an earlier post that Hoopfest was scheduled for the weekend we moved to Spokane 6/20 & 6/21.  Wrong!  Phew, we didn’t miss a thing.  Hoopfest is scheduled for this upcoming weekend June 29 & 30.

Feel free to fact check me and correct my errors.

 

My Daily Blog: T-4 Man Enough to Cry June 15, 2013

Nothing makes my heart hurt more than seeing my children cry.  I’m not talking about the whiney fit throwing cry when they don’t get their way, then they can cry all they want, I am immune (or, at the very least, I talk a good game).  After the final soccer game with his Chelsea Blue team today, his coaches said incredibly kind words and wished our twelve-year-old, Trace, well on his journey.  Trace accepted the words, the gifts and hugs with chin quivering and tears streaming down his face.

Trace is hit hardest, emotionally, with our move.  He’s leaving the school he’s attended and friends he has made since first grade.  He’s leaving the team and coaches he has played with for two years.  He’s really just coming into his own and we’re yanking the rug out from under him. We are paying the price.  The solemn looks, the anger, the frustration, the sadness and lots of tears have been given in heavy doses since we announced the move.  Totally understandable but it doesn’t change our decision.

On the drive home today after the game, we talked about emotions.  I told Trace I was proud of him for letting his emotions show, for crying and not holding in or masking his feelings.  Trace said he loved playing with the team and his coaches are awesome. He appreciated his coach saying that whenever Trace is in town, he has an open invitation to play with the Chelsea team.  He felt loved, his efforts appreciated.

Trace is looking forward to playing with FC Spokane.  We arrive in Spokane on Friday and he will begin training on Monday.  Trace has had great coaches over the years and has developed well with their training.  We are excited to see how Trace’s game develops further with new coaches, a new team and new training.

When we first joined with Chelsea, (it was then JUSA Crew), I forewarned the coaches I was loud, I cheer words of encouragement, and I question the referees occasionally.  The coach said he welcomed the entire family.  To my credit, I haven’t gotten kicked out of a game or scolded by a referee. Yet.  I didn’t happen to mention my sideline charm to the FC Spokane coaches.  I’ll let this post be their fair warning. They will learn soon enough, plus I didn’t want to hurt Trace’s chances of getting on a team.  Since we are so busy getting settled this summer, and I need time to learn all the boys names, I’m going to try really really hard to be mellow this summer and ease my way in with the fall season. Wishing myself luck with that plan.

I love watching Trace play soccer.  I have loved his time spent with JUSA Crew/Chelsea Blue. Though it was a tear jerker for everyone watching, I am proud that he loves his team and coaches so much he needed to cry today.  My maternal reaction when my kids cry is to run to them, hold them and comfort them.  You know your kid is growing up when they reach out to his teammates for support and they are there to support him.

One final group hug, Trace called out the final team huddle and we left with well wishes from all. Thank you Andy and Dave for the time, energy, dedication, encouragement, love and support you gave to our son.

FC Spokane I hope you’re ready for Trace.  He is a beast on the soccer field and emotionally in the game.  And **BONUS** you got me on the sideline.